May 29, 2013 § 4 Comments

I am back!

For the past eight months I have been working away to complete my thesis for my undergraduate architecture degree.  Late nights in studio, demanding deadlines and more list items than hours in a day have kept me from painting (for pleasure that is) and blogging.

BUT as of this weekend I am (almost) officially done.  One publication and a few small group projects stand infront of me and that diploma but these petty things still give me time to continue to paint, paint, paint…ahh how I have missed those brushes!

Although intense, my thesis still allowed me to break out the paintbrushes and do a bit of mixed media presentation work.

I thought I would share with you what has kept me alway for so long!


My thesis explored the connection (well, lack there of) of children and nature.  Through the research of early children’s education, children’s environmental psychology and a strong emphasis on passive design strategies, I designed a child development center in San Luis Obispo, California.  The Center is home to a preschool for 70+ children, family art center, teaching kitchen and family counseling center.  The program is broken up into five separate buildings to create small campus in the South Hills site of San Luis Obispo and promote outdoor circulation within the center.Classroom-1-SECTION

Classroom Cluster Section.  Two classrooms are joined together with a shared service and ‘flow’ space.  The flow space is to give children the option of playing indoors while meant to feel like the outdoors.


Teaching Kitchen.  The kitchen is meant to teach children about food production and preparation.  By allowing children to grow their own produce there is hope they will make smarter food decisions in the future.


Site Plan.  By site plan it looks like a game of Candy Land, however the site is broken up into classroom specific areas, shared areas and public areas.  Diversity within the plan is to allow children to explore, together or individually, the natural outdoors.


Site Section, Classroom View.  Here the three classroom ‘clusters’ are shown.  Each cluster contains two classrooms and a shared service flow area.  The buildings are clad in recycled wood siding and eco-friendly fiber-cement board. The materials are meant to blend into the existing site.

Just some snippets from a years worth of hard work!


Watercolor Wednesday XXXXV

January 16, 2013 § 10 Comments

hillstrom copy

Welcome to my 100th post!

Watercolor Wednesday started 18 months ago as Kirsten in Copenhagen, a travel blog from a year studying abroad.  Throughout the year I shared my experiences in Copenhagen and Europe.  Now I share paintings from experiences back in the States.   Thank you to those that have been here from the start and I hope you have enjoyed the past 100 posts.

Today I present the first (of hopefully many!) painting commissions of personal homes.  With such a lush garden and golden colors, this home was a joy to paint!


January 9, 2013 § 1 Comment

Open Air Museum


Velkommen til Frilandsmuseet!

Today we flashback to my year in Copenhagen, Denmark to the Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet).  The Museum is one of the oldest outdoor museums in Europe and is home to over 100 buildings dating from 1650-1950.  The buildings have been reconstructed, brick by brick, to Lyngby, a suburb outside Copenhagen for the public to experience Scandinavia’s rich building history.  The home above is a traditional Danish farmhouse, complete with a thatched roof and white wash exterior.

Watercolor Wednesday XXXXIII

January 2, 2013 § 1 Comment


Thanks to the holiday break I finally had time to paint my cousin her wedding gift.  Lindsay and Erin tied the knot in August, but better late than never, right?

The newlyweds got engaged over a year ago in San Francisco overlooking the Golden Gate.  To remember their special day I painted them this memoir looking at the city by the Bay.

Happy 2013! Wishing you a blessed New Year!


December 26, 2012 § 1 Comment


View from Bishops Peak, San Luis Obispo

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year!

God Jul og Godt Nytår!



December 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

truckee river_small

Flashback to the summer!

I snapped this refreshing photo of the Truckee River while on a bike ride this summer.  I finally had time to paint this memory of the relaxing warm summer days while enjoying these crisp winter days!



December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Wednesday!

The brush is back in action!  The end of my last fall quarter kept me away from painting.  But fear not, with a month-long break my paintbrush and I have been reunited!  Check back next week for some new watercolor delights.

Today I share a recent commission for a real estate firm in San Francisco.  The firm asked me to paint several of their past and current properties for greeting cards.  It was a fun and local project!




Have a good Wednesday!

watercolorWEDNESDAY stationery and prints are available at my Etsy Shop.